TCP Interview with Iowa State Auditor and true crime author Rob Sand

Hey, everybody, this is the TCP, and I am John Stamp.

First off did you guys see the artwork Jeff Hayes at Plasmafire graphics worked up for Wraith of Sheltermount. Wraith was my experiment in writing a fantasy novel. From the start, Wraith was going to be an indie title. I wanted to do the whole thing myself, so I hired the editor, and did the cover myself. I thought I did pretty good on the cover and it tested well but when I started working with Jeff to upgrade the covers on my other titles, I knew I had to do Wraith. And I was right, he knocked it out of the park. I’ll include it in the show notes. I already put it up on the socials.

Second, continuing my wholehearted thanks for your support for Brother’s Keeper, just released on Audible. Thank you for all the comments and compliments you’ve sent. I want to know what you want to hear next, Where Angels Sing, Spoilers #2, Wraith of Sheltermount, or Shattered Circle. Leave a comment.

Last, Wild Blue Press still has Blood Red Ivory on sale for $2.99. If you haven’t read one of my novels yet, Blood Red Ivory is a great place to start.

Tonight, I’m talking to Rob Sands, 

Iowa’s current State Auditor and true crime author. As Iowa’s chief public corruption prosecutor, Rob uncovered the largest lottery rigging scheme in American history and detailed the case in his book, The Winning Ticket: Uncovering America’s Biggest Lottery Scam. Both a story of small-town America and a true-crime saga about the largest lottery-rigging scheme in American history, The Winning Ticket follows the investigation all the way down the rabbit hole to uncover how one man was able to cheat the system, winning jackpots over $16 million. He went more than a decade without being caught—until Rob inherited the case.

The Winning Ticket is an inside look at one of the most complicated yet seat-of-your-pants financial investigations and prosecutions in recent history. Just as remarkable as the crime are the real-life characters met along the way: an honest fireworks salesman, a hoodwinked FBI agent, a crooked Texas lawman, a shady attorney representing a Belizean trust, and, yes, Bigfoot hunters.

That’s correct, I said Bigfoot hunters.

This was a fun interview.

Find Rob on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @robsandIA

As always thanks to Crush Limbo for the music.

A Tripecoh Media production.

TCP: Former Marine, Author, Podcaster Stan R. Mitchell

Not gonna lie I was a bit rusty on the production side of the house this week but, we are back on That’s Criminal with John Stamp!

I hope you guys had as much fun as I did over the holiday. December was a blur. Took the wee babes to the Big Island of Hawaii, and just like I did the first time I went there long ago, Red Five and the Big Guy did not want to come back. Three out of the four of us were all in favor of putting up a tent on the beach and never leaving. Thankfully, the brains of the outfit, the lovely wife Erica, talked us back to the mainland.

So, I’m back, had enough fun last year that I decided to talk to a bunch more really interesting people. I got a pretty great lineup both in true crime and fiction coming up so I hope you continue to enjoy the show. I do have an announcement though; the boys picked a new logo. It’ll be in the show notes. And the new cover for the podcast starting next week.

Also, before we get into it, big thanks to all of you who have downloaded Brother’s Keeper on Audible. So far Alex and Charlie have been really well received. And, like he did with Spoilers, Chas Mandala nailed it with the narration.  We both appreciate the support.

 Alright, one more thing, don’t forget, like, subscribe, and rate the TCP and I will send you a free ebook. DM me on IG @thatscriminalpodcast or email,, and I’ll send you either Brother’s Keeper, Shattered Circle, or Wraith of Sheltermount.

Tonight, I get to talk to Stan Mitchell, Former Marine, journalist, author, and host of the View from the Front Podcast.

Stan has authored eleven books both fiction and nonfiction including the Danny Acuff and Nick Woods series.

Find Stan on Twitter @StanRMitchell or

Like I promised, here’s the new, Red Five and Big Guy approved logo

Don’t forget to Like and subscribe to the TCP and I’ll send you either Brother’s Keeper, Shattered Circle, or Wraith of Sheltermount. Email me at

Have a great one everybody.

Big thanks to Crush Limbo for the music.

Tripecoh Media LLC

TCP Ep. 25 John Madinger, Author of Going Under: Kidnapping, Murder, and a Life Undercover

First off, thank you all for your support, comments, and praise for Spoilers on Audible. The first week has gone incredibly well. I’m really excited, couldn’t do it without you.

Tonight I get to talk to John Madinger, Author of Going Under: Kidnapping, Murder, and a Life Undercover.

John joined the drug war in 1974 as a sheriff’s deputy then served as a narcotics agent, supervisor, administrator, and special agent with the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Fifteen years of that time, John spent undercover assignments from Florida to Honolulu and worked major fraud and money laundering cases, becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on money laundering.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Indiana University and a master’s degree in history from the University of Hawaii.

On the literary front, John wrote two textbooks, Confidential Informant: Law Enforcement’s Most Valuable Tool, and Money Laundering: A Guide for Criminal Investigators (3rd Edition). He’s written two novels, Death on Diamond Head and Pipe Dreams, and a history of the opium trade, Opium Kings of Old Hawaii. He’s received awards for fiction, non-fiction, short stories, and even poetry. His most recent book, a memoir, Going Under: Kidnapping, Murder, and a Life Undercover, was released on September 13, 2022, by WildBlue Press.

Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and rate the TCP. Do that and I send you a free ebook. Hit me up by DM on IG @thatscriminalpodcast or email,, and I’ll send you either Brother’s KeeperShattered Circle, or Wraith of Sheltermount.

Big thanks to Crush Limbo for the music.

Tripecoh Media LLC.


I wonder what I could do to make my wife want to have me killed. I could ask her I guess but I’d hate to find out I had already driven her to murder, and she just hadn’t wound up the courage to pull the trigger yet. She had a Snapped obsession for a little while there and I never got a good explanation out of her as to what the draw was.

This lady, Wendy, at fifty-two years old, finally had enough (of something) and decided she was done. Or maybe she just happened upon a lucky Google search and got inspired. She found, not kidding, that was the real website. She tried to be a smooth criminal (Shout out to Alien Ant Farm-yes, I like their version better) and used a pseudonym while filling out the page’s interest form. But she put in her real deets in the contact information. Close Wendy, but oh so far away. I’ll give her a 3 out of 10 for effort given she was smart enough to not use her real name while shopping for a killer. In the end though this seems like the equivalent of the points you get on the SAT for spelling your name right. After her inquiry, Wendy is contacted by the rentable hitman and meets him in a diner to talk business. She agrees to pay five thousand dollars for the job and puts two hundred dollars in earnest money down to show she’s serious. Then she’s promptly arrested when she finds out the hitman for hire is actually an undercover cop.

Turns out the website was originally set up by a cyber security guy as the front for his legitimate, if not oddly named, business. After he setup the website he realized his branding mistake when he started getting weird messages from people like Wendy. Instead of re-naming his site he decided to keep it and forward the requests for homicide to the local police as they came in. I was never any good at undercover work, and I never got to play hitman, but, what a fun op that would be.

After reading this article here are my questions: A: (The obvious) why do you want to kill your husband? And B: How did the conversation go when the detectives had to explain to him why his wife was in jail?

Luckily, since this is my fictional version of events, I have answers to both questions.

The interrogation room was stark. Only bare, concrete walls in drab flat white finish. The fluorescent lights blared overhead, illuminating only a laminate topped table and three chairs. In the chair opposite the only door sat Wendy, two detectives, Riggs and Murtaugh. Murtaugh held the file open in front of him so Wendy could see the statements, and screenshots in plain view. He had a notebook open and clicked his pen repeatedly on the table.

                “Let’s start with why.” He said, “Why kill your husband, Wendy?”

                “Do I need a lawyer?”

                Murtaugh slouched in his chair, “If you want a lawyer, we will make that happen. But remember, you paid that guy,” he pointed at Riggs, “to kill your husband. You did it under audio and video surveillance. No lawyer on the planet will ever let you go to court on this. You’re going to take a plea and you’re going to go to prison. We just want to know why.”

                Wendy squirmed in her seat. She chewed her bottom lip like a coyote gnawing on a trapped leg. Then she froze and her eyes seemed to clear.

                “You ever sit next to someone, and the sound of their breathing makes you want to hit them with a car?” she asked.

                Riggs looked at Murtaugh, “Yes,” he answered.

                Wendy smiled, “Yes, me and Richard have been together thirty-three years. Raised two kids, kept a fine house. I’ve cooked and cleaned up after that slob for decades.” She huffed, “In all that time I never asked for anything for myself. Never asked for fancy vacations, days at the spa, nothing like that. Now the kids are grown. I’m retired. He’s been retired for years, laying around getting fat. The other night during Jeopardy I said I think we should go on a cruise. You know what he told me?”

                Riggs and Murtaugh shook their head in unison, no.

                “He told me to go get him another beer before final Jeopardy started.” Wendy went silent.

                “No to the cruise huh?” asked Riggs.

                “That was it?” asked Murtaugh.

                Wendy looked at him and stuck up her nose.

                “You decided to kill your husband because he didn’t want to go on vacation.” Said Riggs.

                “That was just the last straw.”

                “Did you get him his beer?” asked Riggs.

                Wendy grinned, “I did, I even opened it for him.”

                “There’s more to that,” commented Murtaugh.

                Wendy snickered, “Before I gave it to him, I dropped a bunch of contact solution in it. He had the shits all night long.” She continued laughing. “I slept like a baby that night. Had the place all to myself.”

                Riggs and Murtaugh looked at each other. Before Riggs could comment Wendy’s phone buzzed on the table in front of her. They looked at the screen, then at Wendy. She wasn’t laughing any more. Her eyes were bugged out. Her skin pale, or paler than usual.

                Her husband was calling.

                “You wanna get that, or should I?” asked Riggs.

                She looked like she was trying to swallow a boulder. Her eyes were glued to the phone.

                Riggs and Murtaugh were biting back laughter.

                Murtaugh scoffed, “This is going to be great.”


Happy holidays everybody! If you’re still looking for last minute Christmas ideas Acquisitor and Shattered Circle are on sale in the Kindle store on Amazon.

For those of you who have already read them, let me know what you think.

You’ll Never Take Me Alive! Yeah, We Will.

I know I’ve written about car thieves before, but I really liked watching this guy somersault fifty feet off a bridge.

These are old sayings and kind of played out but:

“Go big or go home.”


“If your gonna do it wrong, do it right.”


“You’ll never catch me, copper!”

All seem to apply here.

Fort Myers, (Yup) Florida, was the spot recently where a suspect in a stolen van lead police on a chase before biting it spectacularly while crossing the Edison Bridge. The video (below) is FLIR but our suspect Bryan ***** looks to lose a right front tire, or maybe he dropped his cigarette, I’d like to think he was distracted trying to find the right song for running from the police (East Bound and Down by Jerry Reed, or Mr. Policeman by Brad Paisley would be my choices) when he bounced his stolen van of the right and left guardrails before coming to a literal screeching halt in the middle of the bridge.

Bryan did look good though in his utterly ungraceful, arms and legs splayed corkscrew he did flopping into the water. Maybe he had a good plan but just lost his footing and that threw off his form which in turn foiled his escape? I imagine in his head he saw himself doing the whole straighten out, toes pointed, arms crossed thing that seems to work for cliff divers on YouTube. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a dead ringer for the falling mannequin trick you see in underfunded action movies. I realize I’m giving a guy who steals vans and jumps off bridges a lot of credit here.

Nice try Bryan, but you never had a chance. Enjoy your Grand Theft, Fleeing, and Eluding charges.

And thank you Florida. You never disappoint.


Don’t forget to check out my new Jackson Cole thriller, Acquisitor

Detective Miles Otis pointed, “That’s an arm…”

Detective Jackson Cole sighed, “Yeah.”

Otis studied the random severed limb for moment, “You ever miss the good old days, dope and drive bys…?”

You catch one strange case and suddenly they call you the Freak Police behind your back. If the case is even remotely weird Cole and Otis get the call. Now they find themselves in a vacant lot staring at a forearm.

Fingerprints give them a name. Hardnosed police work generates a suspect. She’s a witch, so was the guy who’s forearm sits in a cooler at the coroner’s office. The witch says a hellhound killed her friend. And its hunting the homeless of Charleston.

Witches, magic, and a…hellhound?

Any other two detectives would laugh at a story like that. But Cole and Otis have faced the supernatural before. It almost killed them.

There’s a reason they call them Freak Police.

But can they face the darkness again?

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